the illustrated post

I almost wrote a post about my hands, the way they fall apart when the furnace comes on, but then I realized that my hands have been shit for the entire year. (Home DIY is not what you call easy on the cuticles, especially not as much paint stripping as I did this year.) I almost dug up a dozen links to products that work on my hands, especially the cuticles, as if you were waiting for just this kind of recommendation. I took a fucking photo of these products and immediately trashed it and came to my senses. I am just not that kind of person; this is just not that kind of blog.

I took a picture of dinner, too, and trashed it. Dinner was red Thai curry, gang pet, and lemongrass broth. It was beautiful, really, but not well lit, and the picture sucked. There came the question of whether I should futz around with the lighting and take another photo or eat my dinner, and, well, there is no picture of dinner here. 

What I can give you is this: It's Friday night, and we sat down with South Park beneath this brown blanket, even though the furnace is going. Flannel pants and house-sweaters are at the ready. I'm glad that South Park still hasn't gotten old and sick of itself, that it remains abrasive and rude. I'm glad that Friday nights are like this sometimes and that for twenty minutes I could sit still, let the cuticle oil sink in, and think about something that didn't have anything at all to do with my life, and laugh at it. 


about that.

Yesterday I said something like "autumn is not ready to let this city go" because threatened snow hadn't shown up. It came overnight and I am doing that thing where I tell myself it is beautiful and fight to see this beauty, the way I have to when I look at art I don't understand or try to read a book that isn't grabbing me. 


My parka hasn't been taken out of storage yet so I shoveled in a waffle top, fleece, leggings, jeans, and a wool peacoat. I also put on Myron's dad's giant Soviet fur-lined hat. Desperate times, dude. The wind pushed me around and went through me so cleanly it's almost amazing that I don't have holes afterward. 

I really do talk about other things besides the weather. Or I try very much to. Today there was nothing to photograph, nothing to think about except the 2015-ness of this year, which is what the first snow really makes me think about. I get self-reflective early enough that by December I'm sick of looking back. Did I get enough done? Never. Did I do anything new, anything that mattered? I think so. I think about the way Papá used to be, how vibrant and with-it and even kind of snarky and at the same time, almost childlike in his pleasure with his possessions and his collections and in Myron. I think about the way he said by golly at the end of a sentence, when he was really and truly stunned by something, a politician or the price of a prescription or the persistence of a telemarketer. He said it like he meant it, like it had a meaning. There were times this year when I was of use to the man he is now, when I either didn't take his bullshit or when I did. He is not unrecognizable from the man who chopped down those trees. But there is so little of that man left that you can't help seeking it out, scanning for it always, the way you look at a night sky and can't process the darkness, just the scattered little bits of light.

calm before

You know it's bad when the weather service has to make a Game of Thrones reference. (Thing: I like the person who writes these long weather statements for Manitoba; he/she has a much more colorful vocabulary than the person who did it for Ontario.) The cupboard was not what you call bare--in fact, there was plenty--no rush for bread and milk necessary the way people do when there's a storm coming. What are you all doing with that bread and milk? Anyway, what I did need was some coffee, because now I have grown myself an addiction and I was not about to let my little coffee jar go empty. And if I'm going out for coffee I might as well make sure there's an extra box of cream because Myron's been putting it on his hot cereal on the weekends. Two stops. No big.

There is a whole lot to hate about transit but if you head out on it with the right frame of mind, it can be not quite so bad. It helps if you have something playing in your ears (today, an old episode of The Splendid Table). I am practicing my chill lately (not the kind in the weather report) and to do this, you pretend that people do not smell bad or bounce their heads/air-drum to their music or eat a bag of onion rings and then wipe their hands on the seat. You pretend, in fact, that the seats are not covered in fabric because that is a terrible, terrible idea for a bus! You pretend they are fiberglass, wiped every night by a fleet of no-nonsense custodians with all of god's own ammonia. You focus on where you are going when you get out of the bus and what else is going on with you or you turn your brain off and listen to an argument for canola, instead of olive oil, in your next batch of toum. You remember there is a whole lot of local garlic in a wicker basket at home that is begging for this treatment. Before you know it, it's time to get off the bus.


At my transfer I saw a community bulletin board with a dozen flyers begging for my attention. They got it. Something about the dark day and the looming snowstorm and all that beautiful dark red on the Twelfth Night poster. Doesn't it make you just want to put on as many layers as you have to, and some lipstick just that red, and go watch a play? Good, bad, whatever? I understand if you don't, but I'm thrilled if you do. Winnipeg winter is a fucking beast and if you don't go out into it and basically defy it to kill you, it'll sense your fear and eat you up from the inside.

all I needed was the love you gave

"Only You" is having a moment lately and I'm not just talking about its use on Once Upon a Time, which I think was lovely, if imperfect. I mean, no television incident of that song will ever top my beloved, be-bathrobed Walter Bishop in a ruined world. I can tell you right now that if I live to see an apocalypse, all I will want is Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke. 

Let all of the television people use it, though, and plant it in the heads of the people, that they may love it too. This is a song that owns a square centimeter of my heart all to itself, and I will cheer every time it's covered or used because (a) royalties for people I admire (b) GRAND SONG.

I can't quite believe this one, but Kylie Minogue has covered it, too... with James Corden. My Whovian Companion Meter went a little weird on that one--and they've sweetened the song a bit, somehow, to make it suitable for an upcoming Christmas album. This isn't a Christmas album song to me, but! I said I would cheer for all covers so cheer I must. 

I will cheer much more excitedly over this one, though--not a cover, but Alison Moyet herself, who looks incredible OMG WHAT THE HELL POSS HYPERBARIC CHAMBER DEAL WITH DEVIL, singing this beauty at a recent Burberry show, to the accompaniment of a host of stringed instruments, in front of the famous and the one percent. No one is too good to sing along with this song, no one.